hand filing blades

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by awm, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    this is not to tell anybody their buisiness... but if u are using a grinder of any kind.... do u self a favor and file just one by hand.... preferably start with a new blade.... u will be amazed at how long the sharp edge stays.... plus it takes about 3 minutes to put a new edge on once it finally begins to loose edge... u can do it on the mower on most machines.
    been in it 30 yrs and while ive hand filed a bit ,i never really thot it could compare
    as just the best way to get sharpness.../
    i just didnt realize how well a true hand sharpened edge would stay sharp.... jmo
    do or dont ,no matter to me.
    ps these grinders are really ruining the blade metal.
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    I have done it by hand file, bench grinder, and air powered mini-die grinder.

    I can't say I noticed that much difference.

    but I am sure that if the blade gets too hot with the grinder, it aint preferable.

    with the hand file it was always easy to file to a point rather than all ascoss the flat pitch of the blade. and after a while this steepens the cutting angle of the blade.

    someday I'll get a dedicated blade grinder.

  3. UGA

    UGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    Well AW,
    You must be alot better with one than I am because (especially with the .240width blades) that would take me forever. I will agree that most grinders take off too much metal but as long as it takes to grind off enough to change I'll stick with it; I might try that hand grinding again this weekend just to see.
  4. ahah

    ahah LawnSite Member
    from 5
    Messages: 70

    I used to hand file blades until I ended up having some tendons in my fingers sewed back together. Be sure and wear some heavy duty gloves.
  5. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    problem with most of us the sharpen blades with a grinder is that we don't have a bucket of water next to us.

    The overheating of metal softens it. That is why the edge of a grinder sharpened blade will not last as long as a hand sharpened blade. Unless, we drop it into a bucket of water during and after the sharpening.

    Heck we change blades often enough that to resharpen is routine. As for the blades lasting, not important.
  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i understand u guys answer ,as its typicle of whatmine would have been before trying it for a couiple of weeks.
    as to how long it takes ,my blades get tickled every day,unless i have another reason to change,, wet weather or what ever....2-5 strokes on each edge and its a razor again... in fact it already was a razor but i just like to make sure its rite.
    example ,yesterday i mowed about 7 hrs of large estates.,mostly... today i went and did 2 more lg properties then my daughters place... then i went to my largest property,,,several acres. i thinks well im gonna need to sharpen for sure after all this[a couple o these were 2 weekers,, i dread ]but the moneys good.
    roll the front up on the ramp,and did touch them up. but all but 1 of them would have sliced a finger still .
    now to me this is significant improvement over what the grinders edge would have looked like. been looking attum for yrs. boys its easier by far than pulling them and grinding.
    still its just a post so whether u try it
    is nothin to me. but if u do,stay with it for 2 weeks to get it down rite. then u will see what im talkin.
  7. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    I understand you awm

    At this stage of the game. I can't expect my guys to file blades.

    But what I might try doing is sharpen them on the grinder, finish them off by hand and try that for a while, and as I get them back just hand file
  8. bastalker

    bastalker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    I have about 5 sets of blades for each mower....I dont think I'll file any of em. Usually about 30 seconds per blade with the grinder.

    They get to the point where they cant be ground anymore, I'll just buy new ones. Usually after the 3rd time.
  9. steve225

    steve225 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    I use a grinder but get the file out during the day and sharpen them on trailer like Awm did. I can do this 2-3 times before it's back to the grinder. Anyone who likes sharp blades give it a try .
    It's a lot faster than changing them every day.

    Steve Snider
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I used to sharpen new blades with a file before puting them on, then pull them daily and touch them up. I was never much with a grinder and I also found the edge didn't hold very long either.

    However, this year I started having trouble with my hands. The steel is harder on the blades I use now and I'm running a 3 blade deck v/s a 2 blade deck from last year. So I would say that probably accounts for the hand trouble.

    So I had to find an alternative. Now I sand an edge on the with a 4 1/2 angle grinder and a sanding disc. The results are great. Well except getting cut regular since I'm too stupid to wear gloves. Now all I have to do is a feel test daily. If they are not really sharp, I pull them and install a set that is. Meanwhile I take them to the bench and touch them up.

    My mulch blades are sharpened to the center hole. I've found that only about the last inch needs anything most of the time. They hold an edge extremely well for a much longer time.

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